Aug 14, 2023

Prague’s Reputation as Cheap Party Destination is Fading as Prices Rise

Summer tourists in Prague's Old Town Square, enjoying the historic ambiance

STR (Smith Travel Research) reports that in the second quarter of this year Prague moved closer to other European destinations’ average room rates as it chips away at its reputation as a cheap destination.

The average room rate in Prague has risen at a faster pace than, for example, Vienna and Berlin, and this upward trend is something the capital is keen to hold on to. In June, the year-on-year increase in the average room rate in Prague overtook Berlin and Vienna, recording price growth of more than 19%.

Prague’s hotel room rates are now similar to those of historically more expensive European destinations and have stormed ahead of those charged by eastern neighbours such as Bratislava and Warsaw. In June, the average daily hotel room rate in Prague was €126, compared to around €140 in Vienna and Berlin.

Neighbouring destinations such as Bratislava and Warsaw were well below this figure (with Bratislava reporting €100 and Warsaw €108). In April and May, Prague even outperformed the German capital in its average room rate.

“Prague finds itself on a healthy path forwards and needs to maintain this momentum. Our aim is to steadily strip Prague of its tag as a cheap party destination and, in the future, to compete with other metropolises such as Berlin or Vienna. We cannot charge less for quality services than other destinations, as that will not pay off in the long run. We need to keep investing in the development of tourism,” says Jiří Pospíšil, deputy mayor responsible for culture and tourism.

In June, Prague overtook destinations such as Berlin and Vienna in terms of the year-on-year increase in the average room rate. Compared to the same period last year, prices were up 19.4%. By contrast, rates rose 14% in Berlin and 13.4% in Vienna.

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“The positive trend of increasing room rates and convergence with the top European capitals has been a resounding success. Even so, the city and its partners must carry on the activities they have been pursuing for the past two years, such as reinvesting the tourist tax back into tourism and marketing initiatives,” says Václav Stárek, president of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants of the Czech Republic.

“The gradual transformation of the image of tourism in Prague is clearly paying dividends, but this requires systematic and sustained effort. The fruits of this conceptual approach can be seen in the latest data and it is also true that Prague is shedding its reputation as a cheap destination,” adds František Cipro, board chairman at Prague City Tourism.

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